The title of my master thesis is “Is a picture worth more than a 1000 words?” with the subtitle; “A press photographs role in a news article”. The cover is suppose to give the reader a sense of what it is about. The context is newspapers and the focus is the collaboration between a photograph and the text elements.
I will try, with theory and examples, to answer my problem formulation: “What is the role of a press photograph in a news article, especially when it comes to attention and as a tool in telling a story. And which direct and indirect effects does the photographer use in helping the journalist telling the story.”
I use Roman Jakobsons communication model as an overall shell to cover the entire communication situation. I start out by defining the sender, which is a combination of newspaper, journalist and photographer. Next I define the receiver in general terms using a study from Poynter Institute that states that a newspaper reader is a scanner and some general perception psychology. Next I define sender and receivers mutual context by using Pierre Bourdieu. Next step is defining the medium in which the communication takes place, which in this case is a newspaper. Next step in Jakobsons model is to define the types of codes used in the message. The code includes Charles Sanders Peirces theory of signs, Roland Barthes’ picture rhetoric, composition by Christian Andersen and Christian Jantzen, a peak at layout from an article by Bruno Ingemann. Last but not least the section about code has a wide range of photography techniques. All of these are exemplified and tested in the message section, which is the last part of the Jakobsons communication model. All of this is rounded up in a conclusion in which my problem formulation is answered.